Providing Civic Leadership - A Day of Reflection
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP has endorsed the work of the Derry Mayor Gearoid Ó hÉara in developing the 'Day of Reflection' initiative and the work being developed by Sinn Fein mayors and chairs throughout the Six Counties in Fermanagh (Gerry McHugh) Magherfelt (Patsy Grogan) Omagh (Sean Clarke) and Strabane (Jarleth McNulty).
Mr Adams said:
"The initiative launched by Gearoid Ó hÉara in Derry is the culmination of months of engagement with many different sections of the community within that city. It builds upon the important work initiated by Alex Maskey during his term as Mayor of Belfast.
"Sinn Féin mayors and chairs throughout the Six Counties have worked hard to build an initiative that reflects our commitment to providing civic leadership for the people we represent.
"Sinn Fein 'first citizens' are guided in their role of providing civic leadership by a commitment to equality and to tackling difficult and divisive issues. It is about facing up to the challenge of building peace and engagement between people different faiths and traditions.
"It is an initiative that is not uniform across any of these council areas but is guided and shaped by the engagement that each has had with the people they represent as first citizens. It is built upon engagement with many representatives and organisations representing many of those who have suffered as a result of wars and conflict. It is still very much a work in progress.
"Together the mayors and chairs from Derry City, Fermanagh, Magherfelt, Omagh and Strabane will be working towards a day of reflection on December 10th, to mark International Human Rights Day. This a sincere, authentic tribute to all who have lost their lives as a result of war and conflict and for all those who still live with the pain and memory of that loss.
"But that is not say that we are naïve of the difficulties such an undertaking faces. Nonetheless I want to stress A Day of Reflection is not in any way intended as a replacement of existing commemorative events. Instead it is about something entirely new. It is recognition of the need to validate and recognise the experiences of all equally, and together." ENDS